Tummy time helps babies develop strong muscles, but what can you do if your baby fusses and cries when you put him on the belly?
Your baby should always sleep on his back in order to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) but during waking hours it is recommended to place him/her on the tummy.
Before placing your baby on the tummy make sure he/she is not hungry or tired;
on the other hand it might be uncomfortable for the baby to lie on a too full stomach.
If the baby cries while on the tummy, talk and play with him/her.
Once the baby had enough, pick him/her up and try again later.
Even if the baby lies on the belly for just one minute each time, it will still be a good exercise.
Here are some suggestions how to make tummy time more enjoyable for your baby:
Set a toy on the floor just beyond baby's reach to encourage reaching for it.
Surround baby with toys (play mat or gym) to encourage the use of muscles in all directions.
Join your baby on the floor and play baby games with him.
While you are watching, let siblings play nearby the baby.
Here you can watch how being on the tummy encourages babies to learn how to push up and roll over: